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More of Me Disappears by John Amen
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More of Me Disappears

by John Amen

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In one sentence, "He has some of it." It meaning the stuff which makes poets great. There are interesting lines here and there, and a world-weary sense of disappearing, of vanishing, but in all his grasping, Amen provides nothing emotionally crushing nor draws any real conclusions. Furthermore, his tension with divinity leads him down odd paths, like proclaiming that humanity is the formed from the feces of a god. Nice, John, but I'll pass on deconstructing that. And politically speaking, of course, he's an idiot leftist.

So while there are occasional hooks of interest, cohesion there isn't, and why wade through yet another leftist toilet bowl when you there are plenty of other babies without the nasty bath water? ( )
  CollectorOfAshes | Mar 8, 2010 |
John Amen's More of Me Disappears is broken down into three separate sections and each poem in each section is accessible, vivid, and explosive. In a number of poems, Amen's musical and song writing talents permeate the lines. However, these are more than rhythmic dances, his work gradually moves toward a vanishing point.

From Verboten (Page 17)

"They are drinking wine and speaking
of French-U.S. relations when the long
sleeve on her arm falls down. Before
she can clutch it, I see the faded blue
tattoo on her flesh. "What are those
numbers?" I ask. A silence explodes
through the room like spores."


Each poem in this collection tells a story, reflects on a bright memory, and picks these events apart to reveal the truth beneath. There are times in this volume when the narrator is sure of his path and at other times ideas run contrary to one another. Some of my favorite lines will leave readers squirming or gritting their teeth.

From Walking Unsure of Myself (Page 65)

"The fortune teller is battling a migraine.
Wind has swallowed my itinerary.

A man in blue goggles is on his knees outside the bank.
The rape victim is scrubbing herself with a steel brush."


Readers will enjoy the music of these poems and how these poems pop off the pages, with an in your face quality. Subtlety is not a prevalent style in Amen's work, but readers will appreciate his frankness. From poems where the narrator takes an active role to poems to observances from a distance, Amen draws the reader in with immediate and concrete details. More of Me Disappears is one of the best collections I've read in 2009. ( )
  sagustocox | Oct 30, 2009 |
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